A Retreat Of Beginnings

Every October my quilting group has a retreat. We go to a special place, at a special time, for a special activity. Each time the retreat seems to take on a life of its own. This year, it seemed to have an aura of beginnings, of starts, of onsets. Sometimes people are finishing quilts or projects, binding, sewing on labels or putting on the finishing touches, but this time brought out new squares, not seen before  projects, uncut fabrics and patterns to tryout. It was all very exciting and challenging. New projects, new quilts, new ideas. What fun!

IMG_0890¬†This unfinished piece is a wall hanging made out of wool in the Noah’s ark theme.

IMG_0891Another closeup of the animals in wool. What great beginning!

IMG_0898This beautiful start of a quilt is made from handkerchiefs. It will be spectacular when finished.

IMG_0897Aren’t these aprons bright and beautiful? AND they are DONE!

IMG_0894This quilt was started just in time for Halloween. What a cutie!

IMG_0895A closeup of one of the Halloween quilt squares. What a hoot!

IMG_0896A witch to contend with!

IMG_0893This interesting piece is a pillow top made with a handkerchief and thread painting.

IMG_0892This adorable doll dress was the first of about six dresses made. What a lucky girl and her doll will receive these for Christmas!

IMG_0905Doesn’t this quilt look like Argyle socks? I think it will be just as comfortable and cozy.

IMG_0904This almost done baby quilt is for a baby named Scout. How perfect is that?

IMG_0903The shimmering cross made with all fabrics that have gold threads in them. Gorgeous!

IMG_0902Won’t this one be beautiful when it is finished? It’s certainly on its way!

IMG_0901This quilt is made of college colors and looks stunning. I can hardly wait until it is all sewn together!

IMG_0900This will be one stunning Christmas quilt when completed.

IMG_0899How fabulous is this sampler! The quilter worked all day attaching the piano keys border!

All of these projects were so inspirational. Each one made me want to break out new fabric, new patterns, new thread and start new quilts. The problem with all new beginnings is that they have to be finished eventually!

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Thank You, Gramps

1386-0806-0916-1854Gramps, Mac and I had gone out for a special ordinary dinner. You know the kind, where you celebrate nothing more than being together on a Tuesday. It’s special because you are together and ordinary because it’s a regular ordinary day. Afterwards, I reminded Mac to thank Gramps for taking us to dinner. He asked why he should thank Gramps “when he was happy to go to dinner with us”.

I never heard this reasoning before but knew we needed to stop right then and there to discuss the concept of gratitude. Children, of course, need to be taught the idea and the performance of “thanks”. They come into this world at the center of their own universe and naturally expect everything and everyone to do for them. The seed of gratitude must be planted by someone.

tigger-applause-02Every person has to tell every child that he must be thankful for every compliment and kindness done for him. Anyone who goes out of their way to improve a life in any way must be recognized in some manner. Gratitude and gratitude that is acted upon, is not optional. It is imperative, it is required.

Children do not instinctually know this. They have to be taught and reminded – often. I give a verbal nudge to my grandchildren every time. Every time someone compliments them or gives them a gift or does them a favor or does them any kindness at all.

monday-quotes-gratitude-quotes-5Repetition is a great teacher, as is a good example. So I have to say “thank you” and show “thank you” whenever appropriate also. That way the little ones are surrounded by thankfulness and thoughtfulness.

And the next time we go out to dinner Mac is more likely to remember to say “thank you, Gramps”.thank-you

A Too Cute Tutu

How much fun is a pouffy, fluffy tutu! You can spin, twirl, dance, leap and sing in a tutu. It brings out all the make believe fairies and pretend princesses hidden within. Tutus are beautiful and magical and special. Nothing forces oohs and aahs from little girls like a tutu.

IMG_0885So, of course, I made a tutu for granddaughter Mary and great-granddaughter Kay. (They are only two years apart in age!). It was lots of fun and very very easy.

To make one: cut a 2″ wide ribbon the length of the child’s waist plus enough to make a bow (about 30″). Tie a double knot 15″ in from each end.

IMG_0887Decide how long you want the tutu to be (mine is 12″) and cut 6″ wide tulle into lengths twice that long i.e.. 24″ for mine. Then fold the tulle and tie over the ribbon. Do this from knot to knot until the area is full. Voila! You have a tie-on tutu!

IMG_0888Use any color combination you can imagination and it will look spectacular. I used three different pinks plus one glitter tulle. Add a crown and you have an instant costume.

IMG_0889I can hardly wait to get the photos of my two too precious girls in their too cute tutus!